Saturday, July 24, 2010


This recreation of the temple that Solomon built is a look inside. The altar where sacrifices were killed and the drained of blood is on the right. To the left is where the sacrifices were roasted or boiled, and straight ahead up the stairs is the holy place before the veil. Behind the vail inside the room was the mercy seat that represented the Judgement of God as well as the Ark of the Covenant, and Aaron's Rod that budded called the 'Most Holy Place.' 
The 'Most Holy Place,' is believed to be at the center of the temple complex, which is in the center of Jerusalem, which is situated in the center of the earth. 

The very 1st time that I went to the church that I  currently attend they had a very peculiar practice that caught me by suprise. At the beginning and end of each service (even on special holidays) the entire congregation faces the east to pray. Now upon first glance (in addition to being Very Lightly seasoned in the Bible [10years of studying sermons instead of Bibles]).

Before going any further I want to acknowledge that in our modern society this practice would automatically identify the participant as Muslim. However anyone who has a an understanding of history, and the processes of time will conclude that anywhere from 75%-85% of the doctrine of Islam comes from the Bible. This of course is how the claim is maintained that Islam is a continuation from Christianity, and Judaism. So the fact that Mohammed wrote it in the Q'uran does not automatically mean that is inconsistent with the Bible.

Now the Question is why?

¿Why the 'East'?
¿What difference does it make in which direction we face when we pray?   
¿Is There a difference?

Our journey starts in the days of Solomon the 3rd King of Israel. Son of King David. It was first in David's mind to build the temple of God. For it was first David who reigned as King in Jerusalem, the 'City of God.' David's intentions were good but he was denied the opportunity being a man of war, his hands were to bloody (1 Chronicles 22:7-9,28:3). Solomon was therefore chosen as successor, and the main who would carry out the most prestigious task, in the history of prestigious task; Overseeing the building and construction of the temple of the Most High God.

"Thus all the work that Solomon made for the house of the LORD was finished: and Solomon brought in all the things that David his father had dedicated; and the silver, and the gold, and all the instruments, put he among the treasures of the house of God... the ark of the covenant of the LORD out of the city of David, which is Zion" 
(2 Chronicles 5:2)

When this enormous task was finally finished King Solomon gathered the congregation of the children of Israel together during the feast of tabernacles. They sacrificed, sang praises and something happened:


"It came even to pass, as the trumpeters and singers were as one, to make one sound to be heard in praising and thanking the LORD; and when they lifted up their voice with the trumpets and cymbals and instruments of musick, and praised the LORD, saying, For he is good; for his mercy endureth for ever: that then the house was filled with a cloud, even the house of the LORD; So that the priests could not stand to minister by reason of the cloud:   for the glory of the LORD had filled the house of God.
(2 Chronicles 5:13-14)

Then King Solomon offers up a prayer in the sight of God and the people:

"Solomon had made a brasen scaffold of five cubits long, and five cubits broad, and three cubits
 courtesy of the temple institute
high, and had set it in the midst of the court: and upon it he stood, and kneeled down upon his knees before all the congregation of Israel, and spread forth his hands toward heaven. And said, O LORD God of Israel, there is no God like thee in the heaven, nor in the earth; which keepest covenant, and shewest mercy unto thy servants, that walk before thee with all their hearts... Now then, O LORD God of Israel, let thy word be verified, 

which thou hast spoken unto thy servant David. But will God in very deed dwell with men on the earth?behold, heaven and the heaven of heavens cannot contain thee; how much less this house which I have built! Have respect therefore to the prayer of thy servant, and to his supplication, O LORD my God, to hearken unto the cry and the prayer which thy servant prayeth before thee: That thine eyes may be open upon this house day and night, upon the place whereof thou hast said that thou wouldest put thy name there; to hearken unto the prayer which thy servant prayeth toward this place. Hearken therefore unto the supplications of thy servant, and of thy people Israel, which they shall make toward this place: hear thou from thy dwelling place, even from heaven; and when thou hearest, forgive.  If a man sin against his neighbour, and an oath be laid upon him to make him swear, and the oath come before thine altar in this house; Then hear thou from heaven, and do, and judge thy servants, by requiting the wicked, by recompensing his way upon his own head; and by justifying the righteous, by giving him according to his righteousness. And if thy people Israel be put to the worse before the enemy, because they have sinned against thee; and shall return and confess thy name, and pray and make supplication before thee in this house; Then hear thou from the heavens, and forgive the sin of thy people Israel, and bring them again unto the land which thou gavest to them and to their fathers. When the heaven is shut up, and there is no rain, because they have sinned against thee; yet if they pray toward this place, and confess thy name, and turn from their sin, when thou dost afflict them; Then hear thou from heaven, and forgive the sin of thy servants, and of thy people Israel, when thou hast taught them the good way, wherein they should walk; and send rain upon thy land, which thou hast given unto thy people for an inheritance. If there be dearth in the land, if there be pestilence, if there be blasting, or mildew, locusts, or caterpillers; if their enemies besiege them in the cities of their land; whatsoever sore or whatsoever sickness there be: Then what prayer or what supplication soever shall be made of any man, or of all thy people Israel, when every one shall know his own sore and his own grief, and shall spread forth his hands in this house: Then hear thou from heaven thy dwelling place, and forgive, and render unto every man according unto all his ways, whose heart thou knowest; (for thou only knowest the hearts of the children of men:) That they may fear thee, to walk in thy ways, so long as they live in the land which thou gavest unto our fathers. Moreover concerning the stranger, which is not of thy people Israel, but is come from a far country for thy great name's sake, and thy mighty hand, and thy stretched out arm; if they come and pray in this house; Then hear thou from the heavens, even from thy dwelling place, and do according to all that the stranger calleth to thee for; that all people of the earth may know thy name, and fear thee, as doth thy people Israel, and may know that this house which I have built is called by thy name. If thy people go out to war against their enemies by the way that thou shalt send them, and they pray unto thee TOWARD THIS CITY which thou hast chosen, and the house which I have built for thy name; Then hear thou from the heavens their prayer and their supplication, and maintain their cause. If they sin against thee, (for there is no man which sinneth not,) and thou be angry with them, and deliver them over before their enemies, and they carry them away captives unto a land FAR OFF OR NEAR... If they return to thee with all their heart and with all their soul in the land of their captivity, whither they have carried them captives, and PRAY TOWARD their land, which thou gavest unto their fathers, and TOWARD the city which thou hast chosen, and TOWARD the house which I have built for thy name: Then hear thou from the heavens, even from thy dwelling place, their prayer and their supplications, and maintain their cause, and forgive thy people which have sinned against thee.Now, my God, let, I beseech thee, thine eyes be open, and let thine ears be attent unto the prayer that is made IN THIS PLACE...    
(2 Chronicles 6:1-42)

Solomon's prayer was basically that no matter what if a servant of God prayed towrad Jerusalem and more specifally toward the temple mount then God would hear their prayers. The fact that His eyes are always there, it makes perfect since.

If you knew the queen of England, and you need her assistance and you were sure that she could help you, you could invite the news media knowing that she will probably watch the BBC network. You could also just call her, or write her a letter that you are for sure she would see. The prayer Solomon offered was made with this same logic in mind.
The Bible Never says that if you find yourself praying to the West, or North or South that your prayers wont be heard. There isn't anything necessarily 'holy' about the east either.
Pagans also worship the 'Sun' facing the East (Ezekiel 8:15-17).

We face the east when we pray because from the United States and particularly from the latitude of  the city of New Orleans, Jerusalem and the place where the temple was is Directly East. From Chicago more southeastern. If I was praying from Japan, Asia, or Iran I would pray towards the West. Likewise If i prayed from Russia or the Netherlands, I would pray South. And from Africa, northeastern.

LET IT BE KNOWN: Solomon's temple was destroyed before Jesus walked the earth. After Jesus' death and resurrection His prophecy of the 2nd temple being destroyed was fulfilled in 70AD, by the Roman General Titus. Remember, that it is not the building we are praying to, but the spot, and the City. That is where the Lord watches, CONTINUALLY!

The last question remains; Did the Lord Hear Solomon's prayer? And what was His answer?

"Now when Solomon had made an end of praying, the fire came down from heaven, and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices; and the glory of the LORD filled the house. And the priests could not enter into the house of the LORD, because the glory of the LORD had filled the LORD's house. And when all the children of Israel saw how the fire came down, and the glory of the LORD upon the house, they bowed themselves with their faces to the ground upon the pavement, and worshipped, and praised the LORD, saying, For he is good; for his mercy endureth for ever. 
Then the king and all the people offered sacrifices before the LORD. And king Solomon offered a sacrifice of twenty and two thousand oxen, and an hundred and twenty thousand sheep: so the king and all the people dedicated the house of God. And the priests waited on their offices: the Levites also with instruments of musick of the LORD, which David the king had made to praise the LORD, because his mercy endureth for ever, when David praised by their ministry; and the priests sounded trumpets before them, and all Israel stood."
(2 Chronicles 7:1-6)

 "And the LORD appeared to Solomon by night, and said unto him, I have heard thy prayer, and have chosen this place to myself for an house of sacrifice... If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. Now mine eyes shall be open, and mine ears attent unto the prayer that is made in this place. For now have I chosen and sanctified this house, that my name may be there for ever: and mine eyes and mine heart shall be there perpetually." 
 (2 Chronicles 7:12-22)


May the Lord add a blessing to the reading of His Word...


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